The MSU recruiting class of 2018 will be a lot smaller of a group than the 2017 recruiting class. There is no number set in stone for the amount of commitments that will be accepted in the class, due to attrition, but a rough estimate should be around 14 to 16 available scholarships. Thus the staff will be very selective when it comes to the offered handed out and commitments they accept. Three commitments are already in the fold, coming from Ohio four-stars Xavier Henderson, Joseph Scates, and Trenton Gillison. Spartan Nation highlights some of the top targets for each offensive position.
The Spartans’ offered Malvern, Pennsylvania Kevin Doyle over the summer, but a new name has risen to the top of the radar, Theo Day. The three-star 6’4”, 185 pound Dearborn, Michigan quarterback has the ideal size of a pro-style quarterback. After receiving an offer from the Spartans in late January, the offer put MSU on top of his recruitment. A decision from Day could come sooner rather than later. MSU also offered Scout300 Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a Bishop Gorman backup quarterback for his last three years, early on but he favors UCLA and UM.
Running Back 1-2
As MSU did not take a running back in the 2016 cycle, and only one in 2017, running back will be an area of need for the class of 2018, especially if soon-to-be Junior LJ Scott leaves early. The 69th overall recruit in the nation, Westerville, Ohio Jaelen Gill has visited Michigan State a handful of times, and considers the Spartans one of his top options. The four-star running back is a current lean to Ohio State, but MSU is firmly in the running for his services. Recently, MSU extended an offer to Hopewell, Virginia four-star running back Ronnie Walker, and he plans to visit soon. Another name to keep an eye on is three-star Dayton, Ohio running back, Tavion Thomas. The staff like Tavion’s size and speed combination, and the teammate of 2018 commit Joseph Scates heavily favors the Spartans early on.
Wide Receiver 2
MSU already holds one commitment from a top wide receiver in the class of 2018, as Scout300 Dayton, Ohio Joseph Scates committed to the Spartans in January. Scates is a big-bodied red zone threat, measuring at 6’4”, 185 pounds. The staff is looking to add an additional physical receiver in the class of 2018. Three names to keep an eye on are four-star L’Christian Smith, who considers Ohio State and MSU his top options, three-star Micah Jones, who will take an overnight visit at MSU this month, and recently offered four-star Tommy Bush, who raves about is relationship with the coaches at MSU. Just this morning, the Lone Star State star, Tommy Bush, ran a 4.47 laser forty yard dash. He was just recently rated a four-star recruit by Scout and has been one of the hottest recruits this winter. All three are 6’5” and make up the top of the radar for wide receiver targets. I like the Spartans chances with Bush most of all.
Tight End 1
Four-star tight end Trenton Gillison committed to the Spartans on the 29th of January, and concluded the Spartans’ recruitment of tight ends. The 6’5”, 230 pound tight end already posses top athleticism for tight ends with a 4.8 second forty yard dash and a 30 inch vertical jump. He has time to fill out before he becomes a Spartan, and could potentially shift to defensive end if needed.
Offensive Tackle 2
There are several top options for the Spartans that could make up their offensive tackle recruiting group. MSU is in the top 10 for Fairfield, Ohio Jack Carman, a top 50 player in the nation, but Ohio State has a significant lead on all other competitors. Another name is four-star Bradenton, Florida Verdis Brown. MSU was a big offer for the Chicago native early on. Since then, he has transferred to IMG Academy. This trend of making the move to IMG, besides 2017 commit Jack Camper, seemingly marks a decrease in the Spartans' chances for the recruit. Three in-state tackles, three-stars Jalen Mayfield, Antwan Reed, and Ryan Hayes are all heavily interested in the Spartans and could very well end up in the fold. Hayes was just offered by Notre Dame. The Spartans also recently offered four-star Florida State commitment Macon County, Georgia Christian Meadows. He will look to visit soon.
Offensive Guard 2
Oak Park, Michigan offensive guard Marquan McCall is a top 100 player in the nation that received an offer from in-state rival University of Michigan early on. However, Michigan State followed up with an offer over the summer and he has been extremely pro-MSU since. He visited the Spartans multiple times this season and did not visit the Wolverines once. Another name sitting atop the Spartans’ radar for the guard position is John Dirksen. He was another guy that was offered early by MSU. He will major in agricultural and MSU has one of the top agriculture programs in the nation. I project Dirksen to sign with MSU. A name that isn't commonly brought up when looking at the offensive guar recruiting but has legitimate interest is four-star Erie, Pennsylvania Fredrick Scruggs. MSU offered early but has not applying much pressure, although his recruitment remains open. Ohio State, Penn State, and UM are the main competitors along with MSU. A familiar name of late is Jacob Isaia. He is the grandson of Spartan great Bob Apisa. Recently, Jacob received his second offer, coming from MSU and plans to visit soon. I fully expect the legacy recruit to be a Spartan. There are a few other names on the Spartans radar at offensive guard, such as Wyatt Blake, but the last recruit we will highlight is Fort Lauderdale, Florida Dejmi Dumervil. The Spartans are an early competitor for the St. Thomas Aquinas product. He plans to visit MSU soon.
The Spartans have yet to offer a center in the 2018 recruiting class. There are a few names under consideration, but one in particular is Detroit, Michigan four-star Tryone Sampson Jr, who holds offers from the likes of Syracuse, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Toledo, and others. The 6’3”, 300 pound center is slated as the number two center in the nation, currently. If the Spartans offer Tyrone, it will be a game changer in his recruitment. Look for Sampson to make it up to MSU soon.